GEELONG has posted its highest ever AFLW score, dismantling St Kilda to win by 50 points on Thursday night.
The drubbing is also the Cats' biggest victory since joining the competition, with Shelley Scott and Chloe Scheer booting three goals each in the 11.5 (71) to 3.3 (21) contest at GMHBA Stadium.
It was carnage for the Saints, who were left with just two rotations in the final quarter after Nicola Xenos (knee), Erin McKinnon and Olivia Vesely (both concussion protocols) were ruled out in the second half.
Geelong displayed its most decisive ball movement so far this season, looking to find space on the outside and isolating their opponents in one-on-ones. This prevented the Saints from being able to play in support of one another like they have done so expertly for much of the season to date.
Becky Webster instigated much of that lateral movement and smart decision-making. Attacking the contest with speed and power, she would then look for outside runners.
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This was also the case when it came to sending the ball forward, the main area where the Cats have been lacking. Instead of putting the ball to a contest and hoping to scrap it out, forwards were leading into space and creating repeat opportunities for the ball carrier.
Nat Exon played arguably her best game since joining the Saints with 16 disposals, eight tackles and a goal while Georgia Patrikios battled hard to lead her side with 20 touches.
Impressive youngster Georgie Prespakis may come under MRO scrutiny for a dangerous tackle on Saints ruck McKinnon in the third quarter, who was attended to by trainers before making her way off the field. The Saints also lost Vesely to a head knock in the same quarter.
Kate Shierlaw brought up her tenth goal of the season to lead the tally once again as her Saints found a bit more control in their forward half in the third quarter. Darcy Guttridge's strength on the wing was evident as she won several key contests and sent the ball forward, while Tarni White's rebound out of defence was crucial.
Once again Amy McDonald led Geelong's midfield, with 17 disposals and seven clearances to half time, and finishing the game with 34 and 11. Nina Morrison's ability to find space was vital, as was Meg McDonald's strength in defence.
Geelong has moved into the top four with three wins from five starts, meanwhile the Saints have fallen to 2-3 on the ledger.
A second quarter onslaught
The story of Geelong for the opening four rounds was that it could defend well but was unable to score. That all changed as the Cats piled on six goals in the opening half - four of which came in the second quarter, where they scored more than they have in three of their four previous matches. Veteran Shelley Scott's move into attack, where she played much of her career at the Demons, was a masterstroke as she was dynamic in the air and able to follow it up once the ball hit the ground. Meanwhile Chloe Scheer created the one-two punch, and they each kicked two goals in the opening quarter to really put the Saints on the back foot.
Young gun in trouble?
It will be a nervous wait for the talented Georgie Prespakis who will almost certainly be looked at by the Match Review Officer for a dangerous tackle laid on Erin McKinnon. Midway through the third quarter the young Cat brought the Saints' ruck down in a strong tackle in the centre, in which McKinnon's head hit the turf, where she laid for a moment before coming from the ground. McKinnon took no further part in the game.
Geelong is set to face the currently undefeated Western Bulldogs in Ballarat while the Saints will host Collingwood at RSEA Park next Saturday afternoon.
GEELONG 2.3 6.4 8.4 11.5 (71)
ST KILDA 0.1 0.1 3.1 3.3 (21)
Geelong: Scheer 3, Scott 3, Moloney 2, Fuller, Morrison, Darby
St Kilda: White, Shierlaw, Exon
Geelong: Webster, Morrison, A. McDonald, M. McDonald, Prespakis
St Kilda: Exon, Patrikios, White, Guttridge, Shierlaw
St Kilda: McKinnon (concussion), Vesely (concussion), Xenos (knee)
Crowd: 2898 at GMHBA Stadium